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Archbishop Excommunicated for the 'Crime of Schism'

In rare move, Vatican boots Carlo Maria Vigano for not recognizing Pope Francis, among other things

(Newser) - Carlo Maria Vigano used to be the Vatican's envoy to the United States. Today, he's a former archbishop, excommunicated on Friday in a rare move by the Holy See for refusing to recognize Pope Francis, among other things, per the Washington Post . On June 20, Vigano announced he'...

Russia Releases 10 Ukrainians Stuck Behind Bars for Years

After an intervention from Pope Francis

(Newser) - Ten Ukrainian civilians held prisoner for years by Russia arrived in Kyiv overnight Saturday after mediation via the Vatican, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said. They were freed Friday, per the AP . Some had been captured years before Russia's full-scale invasion. The pope has said the Holy See has been...

Chris Rock, Conan O'Brien, and the Pope Walk Into a Bar...

Or rather, the Vatican, as pontiff hosts 100-plus comedians to celebrate the importance of humor

(Newser) - Before flying to Italy's southern Puglia region to meet world leaders at the Group of Seven summit, Pope Francis hosted a very different audience at the Vatican on Friday to celebrate the importance of humor. The pontiff welcomed more than 100 comedians from 15 nations, including US celebrities Whoopi...

Pope Francis Once Again Accused of Using Anti-Gay Slur

Vatican has not commented on the latest report yet

(Newser) - Two weeks after he apologized for using an anti-gay slur , Pope Francis has been accused of using it again. The pontiff was reportedly behind closed doors at a meeting with priests Tuesday when he once again used the slur "frociaggine," which, according to Pink News , roughly translates to...

Swear You Saw Stigmata? Vatican Has New Guidelines

Church officials update norms to confirm Virgin Mary visions, other supernatural claims

(Newser) - The Catholic Church has a long and controversial history of the faithful claiming to have had visions of the Virgin Mary, of statues that purportedly wept blood tears, and of stigmata that erupted on hands mimicking the wounds of Christ. On Friday, the Vatican will announce new norms to help...

Transgender Christians Slam 'Hurtful' New Vatican Document

Declaration approved by Pope Francis says surrogacy, gender-affirming surgery are affronts to human dignity

(Newser) - The Vatican on Monday declared gender-affirming surgery and surrogacy as grave threats to human dignity, putting them on par with abortion and euthanasia as practices that violate God's plan for human life. The Vatican's doctrine office issued "Infinite Dignity," a 20-page declaration that's been in...

Francis Struggles Getting Into Popemobile

Mobility, respiratory issues continue to plague the 87-year-old pontiff

(Newser) - Pope Francis again asked an aide to read his remarks and was unable to get back into his popemobile on Wednesday, as lingering respiratory and mobility problems continued to take their toll on the 87-year-old pontiff. Francis presided over his weekly general audience, held outside for the first time this...

He Kept Vatican's Secrets for 45 Years. Now He's Retiring

Retiring prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Archive reveals how US funds paid for 1922 peculiar conclave

(Newser) - The Vatican has been trying for years to debunk the idea that its vaunted secret archives are all that secret: It has opened up the files of controversial World War II-era Pope Pius XII to scholars and changed the official name to remove the word "Secret" from its title....

After Pope's Public Comments, Nicaragua Frees Jailed Bishop

Along with 18 other clergy members

(Newser) - Nicaragua's government released a prominent Catholic bishop and 18 other clergy members imprisoned in a crackdown by President Daniel Ortega and handed them over to Vatican authorities, who welcomed them in Rome on Sunday. Bishop Rolando Alvarez—described by the New York Times as "one of the most...

Pope: Priests Can Bless Same-Sex Couples

Those seeking God's love and mercy shouldn't be subject to 'exhaustive moral analysis' to get it

(Newser) - If same-sex couples go to their priest looking for a blessing, Pope Francis is cool with it. This news comes via a new document approving a radical change in Vatican policy by insisting that people seeking God's love and mercy shouldn't be subject to "an exhaustive moral...

In a First, Vatican Court Convicts a Cardinal

Angelo Becciu, who was a close adviser to Pope Francis, found guilty of embezzlement

(Newser) - Cardinal Angelo Becciu, a onetime adviser to Pope Francis who was touted as a potential successor, was convicted Saturday by a Vatican court of embezzlement. Cardinal Angelo Becciu was sentenced to 5½ years in prison, the BBC reports. He was charged after an investigation sparked by a losing property investment...

Vatican Bends Its Rules Regarding Ashes of the Dead

Families may request to keep a small portion, so long as the rest resides in a sacred space

(Newser) - The Vatican has slightly softened its stance when it comes to the ashes of the dead, saying Tuesday that Catholic families may keep a small portion of their relative's cremated ashes in a "place of significance" to them rather than in a church or cemetery. It's the...

Pope's Top Critic Is About to Have to Find New Digs

Pontiff has apparently had it with Cardinal Raymond Burke

(Newser) - Cardinal Raymond Burke , an American who's led conservative resistance to Pope Francis' progressive moves since his election a decade ago, has apparently poked the pontiff one too many times. As the New York Times reports, Francis has "frequently demoted and stripped the American cleric of influence"—...

Vatican Reminds Catholics Freemasonry Is Banned

Church believes those Catholics who join are in a state of 'grave sin'

(Newser) - In 1738, Pope Clement XII declared Freemasonry an excommunicable offense, and the Catholic Church's position hasn't softened much since then. The Vatican this week confirmed its ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons, a secretive and ritualistic society with an estimated 6 million members worldwide. "Active membership in Freemasonry...

Pope's Comments on Same-Sex Unions Make Waves

Francis suggests there could be ways to bless such unions

(Newser) - Pope Francis has suggested there could be ways to bless same-sex unions, responding to five conservative cardinals who challenged him to affirm church teaching on homosexuality ahead of a big meeting where LGBTQ+ Catholics are on the agenda. The Vatican on Monday published a letter Francis wrote to the cardinals...

Pope Enters 'Crucial New Phase' for Church

Francis appoints 21 new cardinals to help him enact his reforms, cement his legacy

(Newser) - Pope Francis created 21 new cardinals at a ritual-filled ceremony Saturday, including key figures at the Vatican and in the field who will help enact his reforms and cement his legacy as he enters a crucial new phase in running the Catholic Church. On a crisp sunny day filled with...

Pope Accepts Bishop Named By China
Pope Yields
to China on
New Bishop

Pope Yields to China on New Bishop

Government filled Shanghai post months ago, despite agreement with Vatican

(Newser) - Pope Francis has given in to China's unilateral appointment of a new bishop in Shanghai, formally recognizing the government's installation of Bishop Shen Bin three months after the fact. The Vatican said Saturday that Francis had appointed Shen as bishop of Shanghai, transferring him from Haimen. The announcement...

Vatican: Let's Look at New Leads Over Missing Teen

40 years after 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi vanished, new hope for solving her cold case

(Newser) - Exactly 40 years after the teenage daughter of a Vatican employee disappeared, the Vatican said Thursday that new leads "worthy of further investigation" had surfaced hopes of finally getting to the bottom of one of the Holy See's enduring mysteries. Emanuela Orlandi vanished June 22, 1983, after leaving...

Pope Francis Goes Under the Knife
Pope Francis'
Surgery Was

Pope Francis' Surgery Was Successful

Surgeon says Francis cracked joke afterward

(Newser) - Pope Francis underwent successful surgery Wednesday to remove intestinal scar tissue and repair a hernia in his abdominal wall. The Vatican said there were no complications during the three-hour surgery, which required the 86-year-old to be under general anesthesia, the AP reports. The pontiff is expected to remain at Rome’...

Car Rushes Vatican Gate, Is Fired On by Armed Guards

Driver was apprehended quickly after Thursday night incident

(Newser) - A car driven by someone with apparent psychiatric problems rushed through a Vatican gate Thursday evening and sped past Swiss Guards into a palace courtyard before the driver was apprehended by police, the Holy See said. Vatican gendarmes fired a shot at the speeding car’s front tires after it...

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